Indigestion, or upset stomach, is not exactly a disease, but it may reveal an underlying disorder. Treatment is completely dependant on this underlying condition. Indigestion and abdominal pain can cause various health issues in addition to being quite crippling on their own.
What Is Indigestion?
Indigestion, or dyspepsia, is a gastrointestinal tract functional disease. It is the feeling of excessive fullness or discomfort during or after meals. It can affect people of almost all ages. People consuming excessive alcohol or drugs and people under emotional stress can especially suffer from indigestion. Although over-the-counter antacids can treat it, this is not an effective long-term solution. It can affect many aspects of your health and ultimately lead to a chronic condition if left untreated.
Indigestion symptoms can vary from one person to another. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, irritable bowels, and bloating are a few digestive system disruptions. Some of these symptoms may be diagnosed easily, while others need an X-ray and endoscopy. Abnormal functionality can be recognized via tests.
It is essential to know whether the cause of indigestion is either food allergies or allergies to the environment. A naturopathy doctor can help you deal with indigestion and treat its cause. Using appropriate natural supplements can boost your digestion power.
You are not alone suffering from indigestion. It is a common ailment of the bowels that affects about 20% of people in the United States. However, only 10% seek medical attention for the problem.
- Upper abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Lower chest pain.
- Early satiety.
- Abdominal bloating.
- Abdominal distention.
The symptoms tend to trigger while eating, as that is when various gastrointestinal functions work together. Indigestion after meals can make people erroneously think that the food caused the symptoms, when it could be something else entirely.
An ulcer can disturb the digestive tract and cause illness. Eating too quickly, consuming high-fat foods, and/or eating too much can trigger indigestion. Swallowing air while eating may increase the belching and bloating that is associated with indigestion. Certain medications can irritate the stomach lining, causing indigestion.
Stress, fatigue, smoking, and drinking can all trigger indigestion and/or worsen it. A hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disorder can also exacerbate the situation.
Some people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. It is known as functional indigestion and is caused by how food passes through the digestive tract.
Who Is at Risk of Chronic Indigestion?
There is no particular age group that suffers from indigestion. Here are factors that can increase the risk of indigestion.
- Too much alcohol.
- Use of drugs.
- Functional disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Anxiety, depression, or any other psychological problem.
Natural Remedies for Indigestion
Here are a few natural remedies you can try to treat indigestion.
Peppermint has an antispasmodic effect on the body, so it is one of the best choices for relieving stomach issues like nausea and indigestion. Drink a cup of peppermint tea just after meals to soothe your stomach. Carry peppermint lozenges in your pocket to consume if you feel acid reflux coming on.
This herb can relax gut discomfort and alleviate indigestion. It has an anti-inflammatory property that can decrease or stop the pain.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar not only improves the condition of the skin but also helps in weight loss. It may help you relieve indigestion too, as it improves the body’s production of stomach acid. Consume 30 minutes prior to meals for better results.
Ginger is beneficial for reducing stomach acid. Too little stomach acid or increased stomach acid has the same detrimental effect on the body. There are various options like ginger candy and ginger water that can relieve heartburn, throat burn, and gas.
This is an antispasmodic herb that can soothe gastrointestinal problems. Consume fennels seeds in the form of tea, or chew raw after meals.
Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid and eases bloating after meals. It is safe and non-toxic, though drinking it excessively can cause side effects. Just one-half of a teaspoon of baking soda solution is enough.
The benefits of herbal tea are not just for slimming down but also for reducing indigestion. There are a wide variety of options and flavors available in the market.
This neutralizes stomach acid and eases indigestion. It has various beneficiary properties and is a rich source of vitamin C.
This calms muscle spasms and lowers inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Chew the root or add to boiling water, as both are effective ways to treat indigestion.
As indigestion is more of a symptom rather than a disease, it is essential to visit a doctor. Persistent bouts should not be ignored, as they can indicate serious health issues, including stomach cancer. If indigestion continues for more than two weeks or if you suffer from severe pain, it is essential to visit a naturopathy doctor who can come up with a treatment for you.